Listening To Classics on LibriVox!

Hello readers!

So, what do you do when you really just have to read something? Like anything? A classic book? So many questions, so little time…

If you have a computer or mobile phone handy, you can access a website called LibriVox which is a volunteer-run website where you can sign up to volunteer and read chapters from classic books or a couple of poems from a poetry collection. The books must be published before 1924 in order to qualify for recording. There is so much choice on there from genres to authors to screenplays to different versions of well-loved classics like Little Women by Louisa May Alcott for example. I very recently signed-up to join but am currently waiting for a recording set and something to record on before I look for parts. One of my life ambitions is to get into radio and audiobook narration or acting along those lines. I was inspired to do this by my Great-Aunt (now sadly deceased) who was blind but loved it whenever I read things out-loud to her.

Today, I will be sharing with you the classics that I am currently listening to on LibriVox and my general thoughts so far. This is in US Public Domain so before you download anything and listen, please check Copyright laws in your own country before proceeding. Just a quick heads-up 🙂

Audiobook #1- The Mystery At Dark Cedars by Edith Lavell and recorded by Cari Shorrock

Link- https://librivox.org/the-mystery-at-dark-cedars-by-edith-lavell/

Length- 4 hours, 14 minutes long

This first book in a series follows two girls, best friends Mary Louise and Jane who like to solve mysteries. Both of them embark on a thrilling adventure after some dark twisty secrets emerge from a Hall close to where they live and threaten the world of one young girl. Cari’s voice is clear, easy to follow and understand with the suspense and mystery elements of the plot making my listening experience very enjoyable. I could be wrong but Cari is planning to keep recording the series so stay tuned for updates!

Audiobook #2- Lady Audley’s Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon and recorded by Elizabeth Klett

Link- https://librivox.org/lady-audleys-secret-by-mary-elizabeth-braddon/

Length- 14 hours, 16 minutes long

This standalone novel from the 1860s follows Lucy Graham who becomes Lady Audley and tries to hide away a dark secret from her family and husband that she has just married. I have a physical copy of the book that I will read at some point but for now, listening to Elizabeth’s narration which is spoken with a clear tone and easy to relax to. According to the LibriVox description, this novel contains attempted murder and seduction. How interesting…

Finally,

Audiobook #3- How To Write A Novel by Anonymous and recorded by Brett W. Downey

Link- https://librivox.org/how-to-write-a-novel-by-anonymous/

Length- 2 hours, 40 minutes long

This book is simply a mystery to me but it follows a guide about how to write a novel. Obviously this was written over 100 years ago so some of the facts shared are most likely going to be dated but for length and just general interest in creative writing, the chapters break up into How to Begin and How Authors Work for example.

I have the LibriVox app on my mobile phone which I use to listen to audiobooks on the go and it does come with an option to speed up or slow down the narration as well as skipping to the next part or going back to a previous one. There is honestly something for everyone to enjoy and new projects are being completed all the time.

Thanks so much for reading, I will let you guys know my full thoughts on my audiobook LibriVox experiences. Stay tuned for some new posts to come soon!

Alice.

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Favourite Videos That Talk About Classics!

Hello readers!

I am just one subscriber away from reaching one hundred here, oh my gosh. I started back at College last week and have been extremely busy with work and also, I fell unwell again with a heavy cold which sadly prevented me from attending one day of lessons last week because I felt terrible. Today’s post is going to be sharing just some simple YouTube videos with you that I have watched and talk about classic books. I don’t know about you but YouTube is my bookie addiction as well as fun to subscribe to channels and watch fun content. I will be including all of the links as well as titles for the videos and just a quick statement about what each video is actually about. Excited? Keep reading!

Video Number 1: How To Read Classics: Tips and Tricks by Lucy from LucyTheReader

This video length is just under 5 minutes long so if you have a busy day planned and want to find out more about how to approach classics quickly, this is the video to watch. Lucy has lots of other videos on her channel talking about reading and reviewing classics including a video on Easy Classics for Beginners and the Penguin English Library Bookshelf tour. Highly recommend watching, go subscribe!

Video Number 2: Recommended Reads: Children’s Classics by Hailey from Hailey in Bookland

If you fancy watching a video and swooning over how beautiful most of these editions of children’s classic book are then Hailey’s video is a must-see. She is currently collecting all of the editions of Alice Adventure’s in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll which fun fact, book I was named after! Also does have other classics videos posted but this one is my favourite because colourful covers.

Video Number 3: Classics Wrap-Up 2016 by April from Aprilius Maximus

I love April’s channel and I can highly recommend this video. I love when bloggers/booktubers do wrap-ups for the year and having one dedicated just to classics was a breath of fresh air to watch. In this video, April discusses the classics she read in 2016 starting with the ones she DNF’d (Did Not Finish) to the ones she gave 5 stars to. Plus that edition of Jane Eyre in the thumbnail is just gorgeous OK 😉

Video Number 4: Book Recommendations: Classics by Jacob from Jacob Wilkins

This quick video really gets to the point. Jacob recommends his favourite classic books and talks about the storyline as well as showing editions of them which you guys can see a pattern here right? I don’t just watch book videos for the covers I swear 😛 but anyway, if you are looking to add books to your Classics TBR while out and about, then watch this!

And finally,

Video Number 5: Alana Recommends|Classics! by Alana from King Books

I found Alana’s channel over the summer break and I love that she works in a bookstore (I mean, who doesn’t love working and reading with books all day long?) but this video talks about classics that she read and enjoyed, some during High School. There are Fantasy recommendations, Mystery recommendations etc. So, if you like variety, then you’ll like this video!

That’s all for this post, I really hope that you enjoyed reading it. It’s definitely something new that I would like to start on my blogging adventures and recommending videos seemed like a great way to start! Let me know in the comments section below if you have made classics videos for YouTube or know any others that I should watch. Don’t forget to subscribe to all of these channels and show the love!

Have a great week, see you all soon!

Alice.

Book Review: The Old Man and The Sea

Welcome to my first book review to be posted on my Alice Reads Classics blog! Honestly, I’m super excited to start this new chapter in my blogging journey by sharing my thoughts and opinions on classic books with you all. As I’m typing this, it is currently the last day of the summer holidays for me as I return to College tomorrow for the first time in eleven months. Scary but exciting times!

If you like my review, it would be amazing if you could click on the Goodreads link and “Like” it, doing this enables your Goodreads friends/followers to see my review come up on their news feed and promote my love of books with others. This also opens up more doors with publishers for reading and reviewing books because of the number of users that see my book reviews. Here’s the link: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2113284220

Below is the quote that was in my edition of The Old Man and The Sea to describe what the story is about:

My thoughts!:

The Old Man and The Sea was so short but yet so bizarre and complex at the same time, managing to read this in one setting with minimal distraction on the last day of summer break was definitely some form of accomplishment. This short story of just under 100 pages long follows an old man who lives in the country of Cuba and his adventures with going out into the ocean and fishing in the Gulf Stream. There are two characters that play a leading role: The old man himself and a boy that is referred to as, “The Boy”. We as the reader, aren’t told very much about him regarding a name or in detail his background.

Two things for me proved to be annoying. The first was the repetition of the Old Man out at sea catching the fish, the descriptions were long and honestly weren’t really needed. I felt there should have been more the Old Man did out at sea then just try to catch fish and kill a shark. He also kept repeating out loud that he wished, “The Boy was here” seeing the same line repeated over and over felt super frustrating. The other thing which annoyed me is how much telling there was regarding the surroundings than showing. The descriptions were long, chunky and was not split up into parts. Rather just one long short story.

Overall, this was a story that I couldn’t fully connect with and so was left disappointed with the outcome of the story.

Star Rating: 3/5 Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Have you read an Ernest Hemingway book? What did you think of Ernest’s writing style? Let me know in the comments section below!

As always, thanks so much for reading and supporting. See you all soon with a new post!

Alice.

Classics I Want To Read In September 2017!

Just realised that the title for this blog post rhymes what XD

Hello readers! It’s Alice here from Married To Books and Alice Reads Classics. I honestly can’t believe that Summer is officially over here in the UK and the Autumn is ready to set in. This year has gone by incredibly fast and that’s eerily chilly to witness. I read sadly 0 of the classic books on my August TBR, so those books will be rolled over into September’s instead.

I start back at College on Tuesday 5th so my time management is going to be put into some pressure to keep up with reading and coursework. Hopefully it all works out. I have added two books to the mix purely due to the length of them. They are the following:

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway.

And,

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D Salinger.

As always, my plan is to post full spoiler-free reviews for all of the books that I end up reading here and also on my Goodreads which you can add me at: http://www.Goodreads.com/Marriedtobooks44 and delighted to announce that I am getting ever closer to 3,000 followers on there! Ahhhh 😀

Sadly, I have gone down with flu symptoms and am loosing my voice. Not the best time for it to happen. But let me know what classic books are on your reading list for September. As always, keep checking back here, on my Goodreads and also on my Twitter which I am getting close to 700 followers on! It’s http://www.Twitter.com/MarriedToBooks3

Thanks so much for reading and supporting, have a great day/night and see you all soon with some new posts!

Alice. 

Discussion: Studying English!

Hello all! It’s Alice over at Married To Books and Alice Reads Classics! Today’s post is going to be another discussion one and I really need to finish replying to all of the comments from the last discussion post, whoops XD

The topic for today’s discussion is studying English. I don’t mean simply casually reading a book and say OK I accomplished something, I mean actually getting to know the characters, the surroundings, the plotline etc. Sounds like a boring job right? Well… That’s for you to submit your thoughts!

As someone who was only predicted to get one English GCSE (Language) and ending up with two GCSEs (B in Language, C in Literature), that sparked off a real desire in me. There is a reason why I got those grades, it was due to the fact I had an open mind when reading a poem from an anthology or a chapter from Of Mice and Men.

I’m someone who likes to go into every book with an open mind. And not let constant distracting thoughts get in the way of understanding the story. In a previous post, I discussed how I read and studied classic books and that was a very popular post. 

Here are the things that I will be using to study English again at College:

– Always start reading a poem/chapter/essay with an open mind.

– Take time to understand just exactly what message is being portrayed to the reader.

– Look for a “Stand-Out” sentence and quote that for reference.

– Paint a visual image in my mind of the characters speaking in the text to try and form some connection to them.

– Talk to other students and share thoughts: Honestly, whenever I talk about books and blogging, I don’t shut up! 😛

If you are studying English at school, college, university or teach English, I would love to hear your story about your journey with studying it. Regarding to classics in particular, did you struggle to connect with reading them or were they simply your new favourite thing?

Let’s get chatting!

Don’t forget to follow me on my Book Twitter http://www.Twitter.com/MarriedToBooks3

Also! My new boyfriend has joined Book Twitter too and I would love you guys to go and support him in this new journey just as you all did for me- http://www.Twitter.com/FarmerReviews

Thanks so much for reading, new post soon!

Alice. 

Classics On My Kindle That I Need To Read!

Hello everyone!

So, I finally managed to finish reading a book except it wasn’t a classic XD Nooooooooooo. But don’t worry, I, your booknerd has come up with a master plan that can change everything. And that involves Bookie.

Who’s Bookie?

My kindle e-reader!

Bookie was a 13th birthday present from my parents in July 2011 on the condition that I saved some money towards it which I did and I’ve realised that instead of panicking over packing a physical book whilst travelling, take Bookie instead and get the free classics in advance!

This photo list will show all of the classics on my kindle that I’ve either started reading but haven’t finished or haven’t started at all. I do actually own a few of these in physical formats but instead of leaving them any longer to gather up dust, Bookie is now going to get involved.

So, without further ado, here’s the photo list thanks to Bookie!

   

The photos are a little jumbled but I do hope everyone can see them OK. Let me know if there are any that I should prioritise!

Have a great day/night, see you all soon!

Alice. 

Discussion: What Makes A Book A Classic?

Hello readers!

I’m so sorry for the lack of activity here over the last few days, I’m getting incredibly close to reaching 100 subscribers now so if you know anyone who likes reading books or has a passion for classics, then please recommend my blog to them. There are two options to subscribe: A valid WordPress account or an active email address. Your support means the world to me, thank you! ❤

Now, onto today’s post which will be my first discussion post here (cue major nerves) but its something that I honestly have to credit someone else for. Charlie AKA TheBookBoy on Instagram posted this a while back.

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee and published by the @foliosociety 😊 I was one of those rare people who didn't read this at school and only read it quite recently, but I absolutely loved it! It was heartbreaking and wonderful and everything I wanted it to be and more. What do you think makes a book a classic? I think it's quite difficult to define and would love to hear your thoughts 😊 #book #books #bookstagram #bookstagrammer #booknerd #bookaddict #booklover #bookish #bookblogger #goodreads #foliosociety #harperlee #tokillamockingbird #roses #flowers #vintage #bibliophile #bibliomania #nature #garden #igbooks #igreads #instabook #instabooks #instareads #reading #reader #bookworm #bookporn #gardening

A post shared by Charlie Edwards-Freshwater (@thebookboy) on

Pretty photo right? Charlie has over 5,000 followers on Instagram and honestly, he’s one of my favourite bookstagrammars so if you are on Instagram, you should stop by and give him a follow 😉 (Also, follow mine alicetiedthebookishknot where I have just over 1,100 followers, self promo guys).

Anyway, the point of this is the question that Charlie posted on his post which is this: What do you think makes a book a classic? A question that actually was really difficult for me to answer. There is a wide variety of answers on the post in response to the original question. Here is my response:

“I was 12 when I first read To Kill A Mockingbird and that feels like a very long time ago. I think what defines a classic for me is a story that sticks with you for weeks and months after you’ve read the final page. That lasting feeling.”

What I also after weeks of thought wanted to add was a story that breaks out of the traditional box. I love An Inspector Calls but for me, what stood out about it was the fact it was written as a play script instead of a novel. That really brought an edge to it since it was easier to get into the minds of the characters. That’s just my opinion.

But readers, I really want to hear your thoughts on this topic. Any classic books you’ve read that you feel is most definitely a classic? Any hidden classic gems that some of us may not realise are classics? Let’s start up a conversation about this, feel free to respond to anyone who comments but keep all things civil, my blog is designed to be a safe and welcoming place for those who want to discuss books and any bookish related thing.

Thanks so much for reading, new posts coming soon!

Alice.

My August Classics TBR! 

It’s the first of August today! I don’t know about you but I feel that this year has gone by soooooooo quickly, one minute it was my birthday now it’s just over a month till I start my new course at FE College! Obviously, at the start of every month, a lot of book bloggers and readers like to grab some books together and call it their TBR list. That’s what I’ve done with these classic book selections today.

I was really lucky at taking a photo of the books altogether stacked on my hand because it started raining a few hours ago which could have been disastrous had I left taking an outdoors photo until the afternoon so have some sunshine.

For my August TBR, I’ve gone with six books. I do have other books to read for publishers that aren’t classics (I read practically anything) so I keep everything else separate from this blog. The lengths of all of these range from 90 pages up to 250 pages. Delighted that four Penguin books are on this list with four out of the six books also came from my birthday bash in Hay-On-Wye last month. So, the six books are:

The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan.

As You Like It by William Shakespeare.

The Darling Buds of May by H.E Bates.

Cider With Rosie by Laurie Lee.

Peter Pan by J.M Barrie.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote.

I have a thriller, a play, a book from the series I grew up watching with my parents, a book I’ve talked about previously on this blog, a book which ended up becoming one of my favourite Disney films and a book which inspired the film starring Audrey Hepburn. Overall, a real mix of genres and writing styles.

My reviews for these books will be posted here on this blog as well as my Goodreads where you can join over 2,500 people that currently follow my book reviews! I only write spoiler-free reviews.

Thanks so much for reading this quick TBR post, let me know what classics are on your August TBR list. Which book off of my TBR are you most excited to see a review for? Let me know in the comments section of this post!

Alice.

How I Read Classics!- Some Handy Tips

Hello readers!

Hope you had a good and relaxing weekend wherever you are in the world. I am currently at 65 subscribers as I type this post and this blog has only been active for a few weeks so a big thank you to everyone who have subscribed and are following my classics journey! I really appreciate it ❤

Today’s post is about how I read classic books and the things that helped me when it came to reading and writing about them for GCSE coursework a few years ago. I am returning to study English Literature as one of the main subjects on my Access course in the autumn so some of the old things I used to do in school, I will be continuing with for College and hopefully University.

The book in this picture is An Inspector Calls by J.B Priestley and the particular edition is the Penguin Modern Classics one which comes with a couple of other plays in the book as well but I haven’t read them (I need to though) since I enjoyed An Inspector Calls when I read it for GCSE.

I will be sharing five tips on how to read and analyse classics, hope at least one of these tips help and don’t forget to share your own tips in the comments section of this post! So, let’s go!

1, Try and get an annotated edition of a classics book so that you get a feel for the layout on how the story and characters are analysed. Normally, the notes are either bullet-pointed or short paragraphs.

2, Write character factfiles for each character listing their full name, age, relation to the main character and their traits such as being a heavy smoker for example. You can then use these notes for comparing characters should that question come up on an exam paper. Style the factfiles like a card.

3, Use highlighters, different colours for different purposes. I use neon pink for example if a new character is mentioned and neon green for any plot twists or interesting conversations. Adding in quotes will get you extra marks in exams.

4, Talk about the book with other people such as students in your class or other book bloggers. Sharing opinions and helping each other with analysing shows that you are willing to discuss your views. Don’t plagiarize notes but do check to see if you are correct and if others agree.

5, I like writing what happens chapter by chapter in bullet points and then once I’ve finished with that, I pick out the events that stick out the most and underline them with a pencil so I know which parts to talk about my essay.

Hope these little tips help! Let me know what posts you would like to see here on my Classics blog. Don’t forget to follow me across all of my social medias:

Twitter- www.Twitter.com/MarriedToBooks3

Instagram- www.Instagram.com/alicetiedthebookishknot

Goodreads- www.Goodreads.com/Marriedtobooks44

Thanks so much for reading, see you all soon!

Alice.

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